By Staff –
Wilson Darko, a fifth-year electrical engineering technology student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, will receive RIT’s 2017 Bruce R. James Award for public service.
Darko will receive the award in a public ceremony Wednesday, May 10, at 4 p.m., in the school’s University Gallery, Booth Hall.
He currently serves as chapter president for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Mu Sigma Chapter at RIT, and has recently organized Project Discovery, a college preparatory event for Rochester City School District high school juniors and seniors, as part of the Alpha Mentor Program.
“My dad is a pastor, and both of my parents have always stressed service, and having a positive impact on communities,” he stated.
Darko has also served as Unity House club president, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) fundraising chair, and was a member of the first cohort of Men of Color, Honor, and Ambition (MOCHA) at RIT, which is an initiative the school created to help students of color develop a sense of community on campus.
According to Darko, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” is one that’s inspired him.
“That is a quote I heard when I was really young, and it stuck with me for most of my life,” he stated.
Darko is presently pursuing post-graduate education at RIT.
James Watters, Rochester Institute of Technology’s senior vice president of Finance and Administration and treasurer, will also receive the 2017 Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award for community service on May 10, for his leadership roles with the United Way, the American Heart Association, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, and other community-based organizations.
Watters has served in various roles at RIT since 1994.
“Volunteer work is an important aspect of my life, because I have been blessed in many ways, and understand that the majority of these good tidings came to me through the sacrifice of others, or the opportunity that someone created for me,” he stated.
As part of the awards, Darko will receive $1,000, which he plans to donate to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, and Watters will receive $2,500, which he plans to donate to New York Wine & Culinary Center, where he serves as chair of the human resources committee.
Alfred L. Davis created the Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award Fund to commemorate his 65th year of working with four presidents in community service at RIT, and the Bruce R. James Award was named after James, chair emeritus of RIT’s board of trustees.